So, I feel like one of the biggest things missing from most new houses is the lack of built in shelving, bookcases and other quirky features that a lot of old houses have. Growing up in an old Victorian, I try and infuse my houses with the same warmth and charm that the house I grew up in has, albeit with probably a more modern and less ornate spin.

So, I’m totally stealing this line from John Quale, a UVA architecture professor, but I heard him tell his students basically that “the television is the new hearth.”  I’m not going to get into a critique on the implication of that, but from a design standpoint, if I don’t design into the space a place to put the flatscreen tv, the homeowner is going to plunk it somewhere and it’s just going to be too dominating. So, I’ve really taken that to heart and while I cringe at the term, “enertainment center”, we’re basically building one into our houses from now on.

The first two photos show the built in shelving in the living room. We left that ladder there to try and give it some scale. (the ladder is six feet tall). We didn’t run the shelving all the way to the ground as we felt that’s a great wall to put some chairs or a sofa against to see the views of the mountains.  From personal experience, once you fill the shelves with books, the tv actually shrinks in size and is less noticeable.

The other two photos are from previous built ins from other houses we have done in town.